Perioperative Blood Transfusion and Blood Conservation in Cardiac Surgery: The Society of Thoracic Surgeons and The Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists Clinical Practice Guideline

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Annals of thoracic surgery (Impact Factor: 3.85). 06/2007; 83(5 Suppl):S27-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2007.02.099
Source: PubMed


A minority of patients having cardiac procedures (15% to 20%) consume more than 80% of the blood products transfused at operation. Blood must be viewed as a scarce resource that carries risks and benefits. A careful review of available evidence can provide guidelines to allocate this valuable resource and improve patient outcomes.
We reviewed all available published evidence related to blood conservation during cardiac operations, including randomized controlled trials, published observational information, and case reports. Conventional methods identified the level of evidence available for each of the blood conservation interventions. After considering the level of evidence, recommendations were made regarding each intervention using the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology classification scheme.
Review of published reports identified a high-risk profile associated with increased postoperative blood transfusion. Six variables stand out as important indicators of risk: (1) advanced age, (2) low preoperative red blood cell volume (preoperative anemia or small body size), (3) preoperative antiplatelet or antithrombotic drugs, (4) reoperative or complex procedures, (5) emergency operations, and (6) noncardiac patient comorbidities. Careful review revealed preoperative and perioperative interventions that are likely to reduce bleeding and postoperative blood transfusion. Preoperative interventions that are likely to reduce blood transfusion include identification of high-risk patients who should receive all available preoperative and perioperative blood conservation interventions and limitation of antithrombotic drugs. Perioperative blood conservation interventions include use of antifibrinolytic drugs, selective use of off-pump coronary artery bypass graft surgery, routine use of a cell-saving device, and implementation of appropriate transfusion indications. An important intervention is application of a multimodality blood conservation program that is institution based, accepted by all health care providers, and that involves well thought out transfusion algorithms to guide transfusion decisions.
Based on available evidence, institution-specific protocols should screen for high-risk patients, as blood conservation interventions are likely to be most productive for this high-risk subset. Available evidence-based blood conservation techniques include (1) drugs that increase preoperative blood volume (eg, erythropoietin) or decrease postoperative bleeding (eg, antifibrinolytics), (2) devices that conserve blood (eg, intraoperative blood salvage and blood sparing interventions), (3) interventions that protect the patient's own blood from the stress of operation (eg, autologous predonation and normovolemic hemodilution), (4) consensus, institution-specific blood transfusion algorithms supplemented with point-of-care testing, and most importantly, (5) a multimodality approach to blood conservation combining all of the above.

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Available from: Elliott Bennett-Guerrero, Jan 23, 2014
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    • "In this trial no patients developed adverse drug reactions or thromboembolic conditions. The wide use of tranexamic acid in other surgical procedures affirms the safety of the drug (Robin et al., 2010, Tobias, 2004; Ferraris et al., 2007) especially when compared to its aprotinin counterpart (Wells, 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Conservation of blood during cardiac surgery is important because of the shortage of donor blood, risks associated with transfusion, and the costs of allogeneic blood products. This retrospective study explored the feasibility of off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) without transfusion. Methods One hundred and two consecutive patients underwent OPCAB from January 2007 to June 2012 at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital. Excluding 10 chronic renal failures patients, 102 patients were enrolled. Their characteristics, clinical data, and laboratory data were analyzed. We investigated the success rate of OPCAB without transfusion according to pre-operative hemoglobin (Hb), and the cutoff point of the Hb level and the risk factors for transfusion. We implemented multidisciplinary blood-saving protocols. Results The overall operative mortality and the success rate of OPCAB without transfusion were 2.9% (3/102) and 73.5% (75/102). The success rates in patients with Hb<11, 11 <Hb<14, and 14<Hb were 35.0%, 79.2%, and 89.7% (p=0.01), respectively. The risk factors for transfusion are age>70 years, diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, preoperative Hb and creatinine levels, and operation time. The events precipitating the need for transfusion were low Hb level in 9 patients and hypotension or excessive bleeding in 18 patients. Conclusion The preoperative Hb level of >11 facilitates OPCAB without transfusion. These results suggest that transfusion-free OPCAB can be performed by modifying the risk factors and correctable causes of transfusion and improving various blood salvage methods.
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